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Hill Bounding

hill bounding lydiard coach mk marathon fitness protection

Many of you have seen 'hill bounding' in your Training Peaks, and I wanted to take a second to explain it to everyone.  

Hill Bounding was a staple of famed coach Arthur Lydiard's plans, Coach McCrann does an incredible job explaining what they are and why they are critical for distance runners in the link below.  A little bit goes a LONG way.  

I don't really care when you do them, but know this: 

  • they are MOST effective at the end of your run

  • they will spike your heart rate and make heart rate runs really difficult so keep that in mind

  • there is never a bad time to do them and they do not have to be attached to your workout.

 Meaning, if you don't have a hill on your morning route but DO have one next to your office or park every day in a covered parking lot, you may do them on your lunch break, on your way to the elevator from your car, or before you leave to go home at night.  They are short, shouldn't take more than 15 minutes.  

MOAR isn't better, stick to what I tell you to do.  These should have you breathing hard and your quads burning as it is.If you don't have a hill or parking garage, you may use stairs.  Try to ascend a flight of stairs two by two with a big bounce in your step.  The bounce is the key, let your heel drop below the stair and really push hard off of the balls of your feet.The big spinal twist I made my trainees do in warm ups does not happen up a hill, only on flatter ground.  No twisting, please. Notice how I say in TP to find a hill that's 7% grade and Patrick says 3-5%?  That's not inconsistent, that's my way of overcompensating for most runners not being able to correctly guess hill gradients on sight (this comes more easily to cyclists and mountain bikers).   What you think looks like 7% feels like on the treadmill is probably in reality a 5% grade on the road.

Coach MK Fleming is the founder of Fitness Protection, LLC where she coaches all kinds of runners for $30 per month and gives marathon plans away for free. Click here to download her Marathon Selection Guide!

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